The top three candidates for Renton Schools superintendent have been selected. The finalists will each spend a day in the district in early April, meeting with district staff and parents, city council members, business leaders and others, and will greet the public at three separate meetings. The top three candidates are:
- Dr. Lester “Flip” Herndon, Jr., superintendent, Bremerton School District: Dr. Herndon has also served as assistant superintendent of K-12 support in the Tacoma School District; principal in the Shoreline School District; and social studies teacher in school districts in Connecticut and New Jersey. His B.A. was earned at Whitman College, his M.Ed. at Harvard and his PhD. at the University of Washington.
- Dr. Merri Rieger, chief student achievement officer, Kent School District: Dr. Rieger has also served as assistant superintendent for learning and school improvement in the Kent School District, high school principal in the Bremerton School District, and dean of students and high school teacher in the Auburn School District. Dr. Rieger earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D at Washington State University.
- Dr. Crystalee Sweeting, assistant superintendent for instruction, learning, curriculum and assessment in the Puyallup School District: Dr. Sweeting has also served as executive director of special services, Title I/LAP, ELL, and health services as well as elementary principal in the Puyallup School District; and special education teacher and elementary teacher in Ellensburg and Federal Way. Dr. Sweeting earned her B.A. at Central Washington University, and both her M.Ed and her Ph.D. at the University of Washington.
Each candidate will spend a day in the district culminating in a public meeting at one of three elementary schools. Community members are invited to attend and meet the candidates, and to ask questions that help guide the Board in making the final decision. The public is invited to attend all interviews on April 1-4:
- Candidate: Dr. Merri Rieger Monday, April 1, 7 p.m., Cascade Elementary School cafeteria, 16022 116th Ave SE, Renton
- Candidate: Dr. Flip Herndon Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m., Bryn Mawr Elementary School cafeteria, 8212 S 118th St, Seattle
- Candidate: Dr. Chrys Sweeting Thursday, April 4, 7 p.m., Kennydale Elementary School cafeteria, 1700 NE 28th St, Renton
An advisory panel of community members, parents and school district staff—led by Renton School Board members—recently conducted preliminary interviews of six candidates selected by the School Board from a pool of 12 who applied for the position left vacant when Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel accepted the position of chief of staff to newly-elected Washington governor Jay Inslee.
Ten candidates were from Washington state; one was from Oregon and another from Hawaii. Contract negotiations and board appointment of the new superintendent is planned for mid-April; the new superintendent will begin work July 1, 2013.
(Ed. Note: The information in this article is from a Renton School District news release.)